By Dorothy Barresi

Winner of the 1990 Barnard New ladies Poets Prize.

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It is April 1945; practice over. His cleats give him the dancing, half-tough gait of a boy earth loves a full second more than the rest of us, and why not? Outfield's given up its ice for mud, new-minted green, and my father is lovely and angry and believes he will live this way forever, pinned to the longing for Bunny Ritowsky under his hands, in his mouth, while the vineyards murmur and cleave to their wire and the steel mill confers its one shadow through the backseat, through them. II What we don't know will hurt us, but not yet.

More often it's regret rolling its bullet casings at our feet Lissanne, Yvette, me its spent and blackened flashbulbs. Then I recall the lessons I never quite learned for their sweetness alone. On a single mating flight the queen bee will store enough spermatozoa to hold her the rest of her working days. Page 3 In the blue runways of iris and morning glory, from ultraviolet nectar guides, she'll fertilize as she goes. Call it love that keeps me here. Call it the final, female talent for demurring when life takes over.

The suburbs have given back their angels. Refineries rise then sink like wedding cakes into the filthy riverwe've seen it often enough and it is wrongheaded or lachrymose to wish the Old World back as well, with its babushkas and lamentations, prayer cloths, boats reeking of garlic cloves by which we washed up on these shores. " The shining field, Page 19 the ugly babies in the architecture puffing their thousand-year cheeks at us: I think it wasn't ours, the past, and now will never be, who left for better footing, this purchase on brighter, quicker ground.

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